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Mark Murdock - Cymbalic Encounters (CD)

Genre: Pop/Rock
Release Date: 24th June 2013

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST152CD
Price: £7.99
Available: In stock


Mark Murdock - Cymbalic Encounters

Drummer, keyboardist and vocalist Mark Murdock's Cymbalic Encounters features eminent progressive-rock unit Brand X alumni guitarist John Goodsall, bassist Percy Jones and drummer Kenwood Dennard along with legendary jazz-fusion keyboardist David Sancious and other guests.

Murdock shines as a renaissance man and offers a diversified set, highlighted by the largely memorable compositions and aided by a crystal-clear studio production. From a progressive-rock standpoint, he displays the epitome of taste, which is a component that seeds a comprehensive musical portraiture. Jones's slinky lines and daintily rendered harmonics frame the perimeter of the delightful Until The Sun Is No Longer. Here, Murdock's understated and endearing vocals ride atop a spunky medium-tempo rock groove. And Goodsall reworks the tuneful theme into his jazzy solo spot as the pace slows down, then re-energizes amid Jones's limber bottom and twirling lines, and the leader's crisp drumming. But Murdock also staggers the flow to help elevate this piece from a pop-rock environment, given the tuneful hooks and wistful melody.

Ultimately, this composition outlines one of many contrasting factors on a program that duly features the respective artists' commanding technical gifts, yet doesn't forsake compositional acumen. It is wholly evident that Murdock took great care assembling the production and was intent on producing an album that would age rather well, merging classic concepts with a contemporary sheen. No doubt, his creative sparks and lucid artistic sensibilities yield an irrefutable sense of fulfillment. - GLENN ASTARITA, all-about-jazz

''The concept of Cymbalic Encounters represents the Encountering of Symbolic Musicians as my greatest success in music has been keeping company with great musicians,'' says Mark.  Additional guests artists Kenwood Dennard, David Sancious, Spock's Beard's Ryo Okumotu and guitarist/engineer, Joe Berger along with guitarist Ken Hall and Dave Juteau.

"Mark Murdock's Cymbalic Encounters fulfills a longtime elusive goal. I tried to feature more the inherent UK prog (progressive rock) element of the fusion band, Brand X - with little success. Mr Murdock seems to have achieved this combination with remarkable ease." - John Goodsall

"Rated as '8' out of the 'Best 10 CDs in 2012', Mark Murdock - Cymbalic Encounters. Murdock surrounds himself with a group of outstanding players, delivering one of the best solo albums by a drummer that I have heard in a LONG time. Includes the smooth bass sounds of Percy Jones...the always in the right groove playing of John Goodsall - 'THE CLOSEST THING' to a new Brand X album that you'll come close to, with a twist." - Gary Brown, American Correspondent for Classic Rock Radio.EU

Mark Murdock hails from Phoenix, Arizona, where he played in local jazz-rock band Seacloud, gaining local recognition and featuring on a Phoenix radio KDKB sponsored album. Mark's British connections eventually led him to meeting up with Phil Collins and Brand X, and later to Peter Banks (R.I.P.) the original guitarist with the band Yes, who he teamed up with in Peter Banks EMPIRE in Los Angeles where he showcased in Empire and recorded a demo, which later was released on CD as Empire Mark III on One Way Records. Mark was also mentioned in the Peter Banks biography (co-written by Billy James) Beyond And Before.

Under the microscope, there are eight instrumental tracks, six vocal tracks and a bonus track that features Mark on vocals. Instrumental tracks like Goodsall Funk Railroad/Ballad Of Percy Jones is very reminiscent of early Brand X with its tight funk groove and soulful guitar melodies. The track Cymbalic Encounters has a mellow atmosphere with John Goodsall's signature sound. 

Vocal songs like Artificial Society, which has a pop element of catchy hooks to it, shows Mark lyrically describing living in Japan - from a foreigner's view point. The Manufacturers is a song about China's manufacturing machine. Mark sings "We are the manufacturers - for better or for worse."

Also featured is Spock's Beard keyboardist, Ryo Okumoto, who is no stranger to prog-rock audiences worldwide. Ryo plays some mean MOOG synth on the track Kaiten Zushi. And guest guitarist Joe Berger offers some bluesy/soulful lead guitar on several or more tracks, and also mixed and mastered the CD at BEAM AUDIO, NYC.

The artwork was by Leon Alvarado who is best known for his work for Phil Collins and Jethro Tull, and additional insert artwork is by Mark Wilkinson.

© 2013 Mark Murdock


Tracks:
1. Goodsall Funk Railroad/Ballad of Percy Jones
2. Cymbalic Encounters
3. Revert to My Senses
4. The Manufacturers
5. Until The Sun is No Longer
6. Meridian Fault Line
7. Philosophically Sound
8. Sunning Hill
9. Illusion Nation
10. Kaiten Zushi
11. Unauthorized Recording
12. Artificial Society
13. Gyozaland
14. Waters of Marsh Harbour
15. Bonus Track
Click above to watch video

 



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